"A Cappella Club" - Key & Peele Review

Key & Peele
“A Capella Club”
Season 5, Episode 3

"You'll know when you're slammed because your nuts will be on the table and my fist will be covered in your blood."

Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele have been doing well with their cold opens as of late. The same can be said about their between sketch vignettes that’s taking the guys on a, seemingly, endless journey. We know there will be a destination but we don’t know when they’ll arrive. Perhaps it’ll be at the end of this season. For now, however, it’s nice to have the two leads working at their peak. The cold open is a take on the bearded Alan Sader commercials – with Peele as the speaker -- we’re used to but its purpose is to disguise African children with beards. This take on the tired concept isn’t revolutionary but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s incredibly funny. Where the sketch shines though is the tonal change when a militia led by Key enters. The shooting style turns into guerilla mode as the camera shakes like a modern day war movie. Director Peter Atencio has perfected this shift since its inception early on in the series. Over its use, I have no tired of it.

The episodes title sketch is cheeky to say the least. Bo Burnham is an a cappella choir leader with a group featuring Peele in the greatest wig this season. Costume designers for sketch shows don’t get enough credit. His appearance here matches that of the season’s first airplane sketch. Key joins the group, much to Peele’s dismay. When the two are alone, they drop their surfer-like vernacular in favor of more urban (i.e. black) speak. Another face off commences – and boy do the guys seem to favor those this season – as the two begin threaten each other. These up close encounters are complemented with a shift in color, the same that came with the opening sketch. From warm to blue colors, the two sketches are able to adhere to simple albeit laughably serious moments. And, when Peele resorts to intervening in Key’s improv group, matters only get better.

For worse matters though, we are introduced to the first date of Andre and Meegan. I consider it a bad situation because Meegan is the absolute worst. All she does is complain! But it is nice to see how these two met and started dating. This sketch is pure gold. Old characters are revitalized with this backstory. As it turns out, Meegan has always been high maintenance (even though she insists she’s not). Her philosophy is to keep it chill but she quickly proves that wrong with her attitude toward the waiter. When she begins to leave after getting stood up to by Andre, the two begin their dynamic. Sound mixing (or editing, which ever it is) is great here as a cheesy soundtrack overtakes the first chase.

The latter sketches are fairly well done too. Key plays a gyro truck owner who is supposed to be a terrorist sleeper cell agent but business is too good for him to blow up Americans. In saunters Peele, inquiring why Key and his coworker have yet to kill anyone. A short back and forth lead to a mutual understanding and satisfied ending. The last sketch with the two comedians as old men who don’t know who Drake is feels simple and complex; they throw out rhyming quips about the rapper’s name.

Should you watch “A Cappella Club?”

It’s an improvement over last week’s so-so episode. Plus, it had Peele introducing a new piece of slang into my life. Let’s make “full dingle” a thing. Also, Peele has got to be nominated for an Emmy next year. Key took that honor this year but Peele has been doing some great facial and bodily work this season.